Microsoft's App Store... Er... Marketplace

Phone 7's Application Marketplace will be the only way to install and get software on the device. Yes, it's that cut and dry. This is definitely a partial letdown for the platform's openness to some extent, mirroring a very apple-esque distribution model and store. At the same time, it's a simplifying move that guarantees common paths to installation. All the same Apple App Store highlights exist here, including one-time credit card information entry and organization. However, one thing Marketplace has that App Store doesn't is complete support for trial software. It's as easy as calling a function called isTrial().

Perhaps the most interesting issues raised were from developers focused on software for corporate employees; without another installation path, anyone could install privileged software. Until a framework exists for them to either have an access token, or an alternate install method, they're out of luck. I'm told Microsoft has taken this feedback seriously and plans to eventually make that happen.

There will be a submission process for applications to be approved and entered in the marketplace, though these details will likely come today or tomorrow (so stay tuned!). What we do know is that there are three specific tests for application approval: business related policies, technical related policies, and (perhaps most controversially) content related policies. Microsoft representative Charlie Kindel repeatedly emphasized that the "approval process will be completely open and [developers will] know what's going on at each step." Again, we fully expect these to be fleshed out during the remainder of MIX10.

Application Submission Workflow

All the rest of what you'd expect from an application marketplace is here, including updates and support for free applications.

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  • Tanclearas - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link

    Awesome! So all I have to do is purchase a Windows Server license, and probably some other Microsoft platform/framework/service license to install on it, and probably client licenses for each phone needing to connect, and ...
  • zicoz - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link

    Well this is a system for companies to install their "Special programs". If you only want to install it on a few phones, you can just use the "beta solution".
  • cknobman - Tuesday, March 16, 2010 - link

    So I cannot develop my own personal software and install it on the phone?

    Everything has to go through their approval process and be placed ont the app store?

    Please tell me this isnt the case. What about the thousands of developers that want to develop their own app for whatever reason but have absolutely no desire to make it public?

    Im hoping I misread somewhere.
  • Reklats - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - link

    For the specific scenario of a developer wanting to write a program and install it on their phone, this should be doable already. Development is done using Visual Studio (express version is free), which allows for USB deployment of applications for debugging and development. Since I don't have any hardware to try it out with, I'm making an assumption that a deployed app will still run without the debugger attached.

    Given that the basic functionality exists, I would not be surprised to see someone release a utility to deploy compiled applications via USB. If there is enough demand, I expect Microsoft to release something aside from it's enterprise business offering.
  • MonkeyPaw - Tuesday, March 16, 2010 - link

    If MS doesn't allow you to run private enterprise apps, then they are really missing a big chunk of their market. I can easily see an inventory program that would really benefit from GPS and the ability to sync to a server immediately. At the same time, I wouldn't want that app to be up for purchase by my competition. If you could develop privately, you could really boost your small business.
  • straubs - Tuesday, March 16, 2010 - link

    Not only that, but it costs $99 PER APP, in addition to the $99/year developer fee.">
  • zicoz - Tuesday, March 16, 2010 - link

    I think I read somewhere that as a developer you can "unlock" x number of phones and install your programs directly.
  • QuietOC - Tuesday, March 16, 2010 - link

    "480 x 800 being 4:3 aspect ratio"
    800x480 should be a 5:3 aspect ratio.
  • nerdtalker - Tuesday, March 16, 2010 - link

    Thanks, that's what I get for trying to do math late at night ;)

    Should be corrected soon!

  • HighTech4US - Tuesday, March 16, 2010 - link

    Isn't the only SOC ARM design with GPU DirectX 9 acceleration the nVidia Tegra.

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